Clinical and laboratory results document psoriatic arthritis in a 56-year old patient. The symptoms did not resolve with standard treatments (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids and methotrexate). TNF-alpha inhibitors (certolizumab pegol and adalimumab) were added to the treatment regime, with some adverse effects. A trial of human umbilical cord stem cell therapy was then initiated. The stem cells were enriched and concentrated from whole cord blood, by removal of erythrocytes and centrifugation. The patient received several infusions of cord blood stem cells, through intravenous and intra-articular injections. These stem cell treatments correlated with remission of symptoms (joint pain and psoriatic plaques) and normalized serologic results for the inflammatory markers C-reactive protein and erythrocyte sedimentation rate. These improvements were noted within the first thirty days post-treatment, and were sustained for more than one year. The results of this trial suggest that cord blood stem cells may have important therapeutic value for patients with psoriatic arthritis, particularly for those who cannot tolerate standard treatments.
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